President Uhuru Kenyatta Wednesday evening expressed gratitude to the African Union and its individual member states for standing in solidarity with Kenya as the country battled International Criminal Cases (ICC) facing its citizens.
President Kenyatta said it was through the support of friendly countries that the ICC cases facing him, the Deputy President and former Radio Presenter Joshua arap Sang at the International Criminal Court (ICC) at The Hague collapsed.
The President spoke at a Berlin hotel when he met African Ambassadors accredited to Germany to discuss ways of forging greater unity and solidarity in advancing African’s common positions at the international arena.
The Group of African Ambassadors acts as an umbrella association for the envoys to advance their countries’ interests and harmonize common views on topical issues to represent the official position from the African diplomatic corp.
“The strong position taken by the African Union and its member states in support of Kenya at the ICC enabled us to succeed. Kenya will continue partnering with other countries in the continent to achieve Africa’s agenda,” the President said.
The Head of State said Africa needs unity of purpose and a spirit of Pan-Africanism among Africans across the world to advance their interests ‘within the world’s bastions of power’.
The President challenged African Envoys accredited to other countries to embrace the spirit and philosophy of Pan-Africanism for the continent to raise her profile internationally and be effective at the diplomatic fronts.
He emphasized that the triple threats of poverty, ignorance and disease that continued to assail Africans and weaken the social fabric of the societies can be addressed by one people with the good-will of strategic partners.
“It is only through a concerted effort on the part of every stakeholder in Africa, that we will forge a stronger future for our continent, and in so doing, build a stronger world as well”, President Kenyatta said.
He told countries in Africa to aim at intra-trade saying the future of the continent lies in accelerated integration, enhanced trading with one another.
“Over the past decade, Africa’s commitment to regional economic integration has grown, with the continent’s total trade (both imports and exports) tripling in value to $1.2 trillion,” he added
He enumerated the various challenges to integration including inadequate hard infrastructure, poor transport connections, and costly and unreliable power supplies that can be mitigated through heavy investment in infrastructural networks that link the continent and in energy.
President Kenyatta said the political goodwill prevailing in the region and the continent has enabled the private sector to participate in large regional integration projects.
Adding, “Integration will bring with it bigger markets for African goods, more jobs for African peoples, economic growth for African countries, and a brighter future for the youth of our continent”.
The President reaffirmed Kenya’s commitment to pursuing strategic interests of the African continent through every available means and opportunity to realize the desired integration.
On security and political stability, the President urged countries in the continent to invest heavily in ensuring the prevalence of peace among people.
He said Kenya remained steadfast on regional peace initiatives, contributing to stability efforts in Somalia, where the country worked with other Troop Contributing countries within the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM).
The President told the meeting also attended by Cabinet Secretaries Amina Mohamed and Najib Balala that accelerated interventions in state building in Somalia will contribute immensely to sustainable peace within the region.
Kenya’s Envoy to Germany Joseph Magutt said the group of Ambassadors provides a platform to African Missions to advance their interests in Germany and also harmonize common views on topical issues to represent the official position from African diplomatic corp.